This meal plan is 7 days of healthy family meals! Family-friendly with every dish being veggie-loaded in delicious and easy ways! This plan is absolutely wonderful for kick starting how your family eats vegetables and gives you tools for keeping it going! Easy, healthy and delicious meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and desserts included!). All recipes are gluten free and dairy-free.
What is veggie-loaded?
Veggie-loaded is my approach to getting vegetables into easy and healthy meals. Every meal, in fact! In creative ways that won’t leave you feeling blah about eating veggies.
The simple act of eating more veggies every day can do wonderful things for your health. Veggies fill your food and thus your body with more vitamins, minerals and nutrients. However, vegetables are also the one food group so many people have a difficult time getting excited about eating and are most likely to leave off their plate.
Which is why I started creating veggie-loaded recipes. Recipes that are loaded with vegetables that help makes veggies exciting again and get you jazzed about getting them into your life more. My veggie-loaded approach has helped many families (children and adults alike) change how they look at vegetables and how they eat them.
So, if veggie-loading is something you need in your life, I’ve created this 7 day meal plan to help you jumpstart your love affair with vegetables! It is full of easy recipes that won’t stress you out and that are not only tried-and-true but deeply loved by my veggie-loading community.
Tools for veggie-loading
You don’t HAVE to have anything fancier than a sharp knife to get veggies into your diet easily, but there are a few kitchen gadgets I reach for time and time again that make veggie-loading recipes easy-peasy!
I think I probably use my food processor on the daily. The “S” blade is awesome for finely (and oh-so quickly) chopping veggies to be sautéed or to be added to a sauce, meatloaf or meatballs. And the grating blade is perfect for shredding zucchini or carrots for baked goods, adding to oatmeal or quickly prepping veggies for a simple tossed salad!
My blender lives on my kitchen counter, because it gets a daily workout too! I love starting the day with a veggie-loaded smoothie, as it sends everyone into the day on an easy and healthy foot! My blender is my favorite for making quick veggie-loaded blender recipes, like Oatmeal Green Smoothie Muffins or Flourless Chocolate Waffles (with Greens). I also love love love my blender for pureeing up veggie-loaded tomato sauce, homemade carrot and applesauce or even a veggie-loaded soup for dinner! You can get a fancy blender (I finally got a Vitamix after years of longing for one) or keep it simple. Whatever blender you opt for, I highly suggest one with multiple speeds to help you blend whatever veggie-goodness you throw into it to perfection.
3. A grater.
Yep, a grater. Like a cheese grater…. because they don’t have to just be for cheese! If you prefer to keep the kitchen gadgets to a minimum or are trying to be budget-friendly, a grater is a great (and relatively quick) way to shred up veggies for baked good, to stir into tuna and chicken salads, add to meatballs and meatloaves or even add to sauces and soups! They are easy to clean. Easy to store. And do a bang-up job at getting veggies tiny enough to add into so many recipes!
Veggie-Loading Veggie Staples
With all the veggies there are in the world, at the grocery store and farmer’s market…. which ones should you always have on hand to help you veggie-load your meals? While this is going to ultimately be a personal list that will evolve with your own unique tastes and preferences, here are the veggies I always keep on hand and find I get the most veggie-loaded mileage out of!
Okay, these are technically a fruit, but they are so low in sugar that many people enjoy them like a veggie! Loaded with creamy healthy fats, they are something I love to keep on hand whenever possible! Avocados are easy to add on top of soups, throw in smoothies, blend into baked goods, and on top of pretty much any dish for an extra punch of plant goodness!
Spinach is such a powerhouse of a veggie and can be easily added to so many things! Full of vitamins A, B2, C and K, spinach also is a great source of magnesium, manganese, folate, iron, calcium and potassium. See? Serious goodness you want more of in your life! I love to add spinach to all the smoothies, finely chop it up to add into burgers, meatballs, meatloaves, tuna or chicken salad and tomato sauce. I also am known to add spinach to blender pancakes and muffins…turning them a fun green color (and no, you can’t taste the spinach!)
Zucchini is a really mellow veggie with a mild flavor and can easily disappear into a food, making it a great veggie to add to your veggie-loaded lifestyle! It is a great source of vitamin C and potassium and zucchini is rumored to be great for aiding in digestion! I love to add grated zucchini to baked goods, scrambled eggs or even into oatmeal for a veggie-loaded breakfast! I have also been known to add zucchini to smoothies and spiralize them to use in combination with/instead of pasta!
Carrots are one of the sweeter veggies and definitely a great one to always have on hand! Carrots are chock-full of vitamin A, C, K, and B8, as well as folate, potassium, iron, copper, and manganese. I love to grate carrots up to add to green salads, to tuna/chicken salads, baked goods, meatballs, meatloaves or into tomato sauce, puree into applesauce or even occasionally throw into a smoothie!
Now that you understand the what, the why, the how and have a list of tools to help you do it on your own…here is a 7 day veggie-loaded meal plan to help you jumpstart your veggie-loading journey!
- P = Paleo
- DF = dairy free
- NF =nut free
- EF = egg-free
- GF = gluten free
- Vg = vegetarian
- V = vegan
- Oatmeal Green Smoothie Muffins GF, DF, Vg, NF option, EF option, V option
- Flourless Chocolate Waffles (with greens!) P, GF, DF, Vg
- Instant Pot Morning Glory Oatmeal GF, DF, EF, NF option, Vg, V
- Banana-Spinach Pancake Pizza P, DF, EF, Vg, NF option
- Almond Butter Blueberry Zucchini Muffins P, GF, DF
- One-Bowl Sweet Potato Peanut Butter Muffins GF, DF
- 5-Ingredient Bacon & Broccoli Egg Cups P, GF, DF, NF
- Easy Peasy Veggie-Loaded Applesauce P, GF, DF, EF, NF, Vg, V
- 3-Ingredient Strawberry Beet Fruit Leather P, GF, DF, EF, NF, Vg, V
- Sunrise Butternut Squash Smoothie P, GF, DF, EF, NF option, Vg, V
- Creamy Cauliflower & Blueberry Smoothie P, GF, DF, EF, NF option, Vg, V option
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Smoothie (with greens!) GF, DF, EF, Vg, V option
- Green Grinch Smoothies P, GF, DF, EF, NF option, Vg, V
- Raw Avocado & Zucchini Hummus (bean-free) P, GF, DF, EF, NF, Vg, V
- Veggie-Loaded Spring Chicken Salad P, GF, DF, NF
- 30-Minute Carrot Ginger Tuna Bites P, GF, DF
- Veggie-Loaded Smashed Chickpea Salad GF, DF, EF, Vg
- Instant Pot Creamy Tomato Basil Soup P, GF, DF, EF, NF, Vg, V
- Veggie-Loaded Avocado Tuna Salad P, GF, DF, EF, NF
- Slow Cooker Butternut Squash + Apple Soup P, GF, NF, DF, EF, Vg, V
- Glorious Green Veggie Chicken Burgers P, GF, NF, DF, EF
- Veggie-Loaded Mini Taco Meatloaves P, GF, DF, NF
- Instant Pot Beef and Broccoli P, GF, DF, NF, EF
- One-Pot Curry Lentil Soup GF, NF, DF, EF, Vg, V
- Chicken & Cauliflower Meatballs P, GF NF, DF, EF with 30-Minute Veggie-Loaded Tomato Sauce P, GF NF, DF, EF, Vg, V
- Instant Pot Butternut Squash Chicken Curry P, GF, DF, NF, EF, Vg option
- Instant Pot Black Beans GF, NF, DF, EF, Vg, V
- 20-Minute Pork Fried Cauliflower Rice P, GF, DF, NF, EF
- One-Bowl Peanut Butter Carrot Blondies GF, DF, EF, Vg, V
- One-Bowl Sweet Potato Brownies P, GF, DF, Vg
- Chocolate Avocado Bread P, GF, DF, Vg
- One-Bowl Paleo Almond Butter Zucchini Cookies P, GF, DF, Vg
- Super Healthy Fudge Pops (with veggies!) P, GF, DF, EG, NF option, Vg and V option
- Pumpkin Almond Butter Cookies P, GF, DF, Vg
- Flourless Chocolate Protein Donuts (with veggies!) P, GF, DF, Vg
Healthy Family Meal Plan: 30-Minute Vegetable Sauce
- 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 small yellow onion diced
- 2 cups zucchini grated
- 1 1/2 cups carrots grated
- 1/2 bell pepper deseeded and diced
- 1 1/2 cups chopped spinach, loosely packed
- 1/2 cup stock or broth
- 1 tsp sea salt or to taste
- 1 tsp garlic powder or to taste
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- black pepper, to taste
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- Combine all of the ingredients in a large sauce pot. Stir a few times to mix everything together.
- Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium-high heat. Once sauce starts to bubble, lower heat and cook UNCOVERED for 20 minutes.
- Once done cooking, remove bay leaves. Use an immersion blender to puree the sauce to preferred consistency.
- Taste and add extra salt, pepper or garlic powder if desired.
- Serve over your favorite pasta, spiralized veggies or on pizza. Enjoy as is or add cooked ground meat or meatballs.
- Allow leftover sauce to completely cool before transferring it to an air-tight container. Store in fridge for up to a week or freeze to have on hand for months to come.
The nutritional information is provided as an estimate only and may vary based on the product type, servings and other factors. If you are following a diet, please consult with a professional nutritionist or your doctor. Stay healthy!